The Loyola women’s basketball team improved to 7-0 after defeating Dartmouth University 61-40 at Gentile Arena Wednesday night. The victory extends the Ramblers’ best start in program history, breaking the previous 5-0 record set 40 years ago.
Loyola is one of the nation’s 17 remaining unbeaten teams.
“Two years ago, my second year here, we won seven games,” Loyola head coach Kate Achter said after the game. “If you would’ve told me that this is where we would be two years later, I would’ve told you you were crazy.”
Achter said she’s proud the team played well against Dartmouth despite flying back from Portland on a red-eye flight Monday morning. Achter also said it was difficult to play against Dartmouth’s defense.
“Dartmouth is a really strong defensive team, and they grind it out and they hold their opponents to under 60 points a game,” Achter said. “While we just crept to 60 points, I’m pleased with that.”
Dartmouth came into the game 3-1 and was picked sixth out of eight teams in the Ivy League preseason poll. In last year’s Rating Percentage Index rankings — a system the NCAA uses to rank teams based on record and strength of schedule — the Big Green placed No. 211 out of 351 teams. Loyola came in at No. 254.
Four Ramblers scored double-digit points, led by 15 from junior forward Abby O’Connor. Senior guard Tiara Wallace, junior guard Ellie Rice and sophomore forward Allison Day each contributed 12 points.
Loyola out-shot Dartmouth 21 to 10 shots in the first quarter and led 16-8 after 10 minutes. Wallace scored six points in the second quarter as the Ramblers took a 32-22 lead into halftime.
The game slowed a bit in the third quarter with a few dry spells between shots. However, the Ramblers still extended their lead with five more points from Rice and four from O’Connor and finished the quarter ahead 47-33.
The shots remained spaced out until the end of the fourth quarter, with the final three minutes having only two shots. The Ramblers secured their seventh straight win 61-40.
O’Connor said having multiple scoring threats has helped the offense flow. This was the third game this season in which the Ramblers had at least four players reach double figures.
“Consistently we’ve had two [or] three [or] four people all in double digits scoring which is huge for us,” O’Connor said. “It just lightens the load off of everybody because we have contributions coming from everybody.”
The Ramblers are next set to take on Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville in Edwardsville Dec. 8. Tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on ESPN+.